Social media isn’t something that we’re born to do. Yes, we’re social creatures by nature, but let’s face it… you were plenty busy before Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn came along.
The truth is, most marketers simply don’t have the time to use all of these tools on a daily basis.
So the trick is to create and maintain a social media presence in as little time as possible, while remaining effective and worthwhile.
Here are three tips to manage your social media presence in as little as 10 minutes per day.
#1: Take One Platform Bite at a Time
Will you need a solid presence on Twitter and Facebook if you want to rock social media? Probably, but it doesn’t mean you have to get it all going at once.
If you only have 10 minutes to work with, then you’ll have to focus, which means that you shouldn’t try to divide your time among all platforms equally.
For those getting started
Don’t try to master each platform at once. Pick one and get that platform up and running before you jump to the next. If it’s Facebook, then take the time to get your Facebook page set up properly. If you decide to start with Twitter, then read this guide to get started.
This means you’ll need proper branding (images, messaging, etc.), a proper bio, a decent FBML page and an active wall.
Focus on getting each part perfected before you move to the next, but in the end, it’s the wall that counts.
Want to see a good example of how to rock a wall page? Check out this recent conversation starter:
For those already rolling
If you’ve already got everything set up the way you need it, then I recommend that you alternate between platforms on a daily basis. Ten minutes spent on Facebook in one day is better than 3 to 4 minutes every day.
Juggling doesn’t work, so take it one platform at a time.
#2: Respond to Your Fans
Many companies feel the need to talk first and respond later. This isn’t going to work.
First, most people aren’t listening to you. They’re waiting for you to respond. This is especially true of consumers.
Even though this might seem like a drag, the reality is that it’s an opportunity for you to create an excellent experience and add to your company’s narrative. If you can make a difference with just one reply, then you’re golden.
So… spend the most significant portion of your time responding to @’s, messages, wall posts, and most importantly… putting out fires.
This boils down to being an effective listener and having done a good job of setting up listening stations, while simultaneously being ready and willing to embrace detractors by meeting them on their turf and doing your best to take away their ammunition.
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If you’re dealing with a light day (no complaints), then spend time getting to know your people better. Don’t differentiate between customers and prospects, because anyone can become a brand evangelist if you treat him right.
If this takes your 10 minutes, then at least you’ve spent time on the important side of social media, which is improving and repairing relationships.
#3: Reach Out And Help People
Pick an off-day to reach out and lend a hand to people who don’t expect it.
Many times, this can be a random person in a Facebook group, or even someone tweeting a question about your particular industry or niche.
Might this lead to an invitation to join you on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog? Sure, but that’s not the goal.
The goal is to get on people’s radar, and get them talking about you.
It’s highly possible that the people needing your help the most don’t actually know who you are, and just as you wouldn’t shove a business card in someone’s face at a conference (you wouldn’t, right?), you shouldn’t shove a link down a Twitter or Facebook user’s throat.
Just extend a helping hand so that they know who you are and how to find you. That’s it.
Once you’re good at doing this, you should be able to hit both Twitter and Facebook in less than 5 minutes. A tweet takes what, 10 seconds? In 5 minutes you should be able to send out 6 to 12 tweets and reply to a dozen Facebook threads.
If you’re worried about doing too much at once, then use a service like Social Oomph to schedule your replies. There’s nothing wrong with scheduling an authentic tweet, especially if it prevents the appearance of spam.
Pick Your Poison
Each of these three steps is important, and each will help you rock the social media universe. The key really is to focus on one or two actions per day, and leave the rest for tomorrow.
Obviously, putting out fires is important, but don’t get wrapped up in it. There’s always another fire.
The same is true of replies. You don’t have to reply to everything. Sometimes a blanket statement will do, while other times a tweet to a blog post will do.
If you’re hearing a lot of the same thing, then maybe it’s time to address it on your website so that you can send the message to everyone at once.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of just hanging out. Marketing messages often go unnoticed on Twitter and Facebook. Let your actions tell the story and your interaction be the message.
Don’t try too hard to stand out. Believe it or not, doing the opposite might earn you all the respect you need.
How do you manage your social media? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the box below.